What is an attributive adjective?

Philosophy 83 (1):77-88 (2008)
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Peter Geach’s distinction between logically predicative and logically attributive adjectives has gained a certain currency in philosophy. For all that, no satisfactory explanation of what an attributive adjective is has yet been provided. We argue that Geach’s discussion suggests two different ways of understanding the notion. According to one, an adjective is attributive just in case predications of it in combination with a noun fail to behave in inferences like a logical conjunction of two separate predications. According to the other, an adjective is attributive just in case it cannot be applied in a truth-value-yielding fashion unless combined with a noun. The latter way of understanding the notion has been largely neglected by Geach’s critics, but we argue that taking account of it shows the misguided nature of some of their objections, and also yields a more satisfactory explanation of attributivity than does the other.


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­A defense of analogy inference as sui generis.André Lars Joen Juthe - forthcoming - Logic and Logical Philosophy:1.
Attributivism.Casey Sean Elliott - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham

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References found in this work

Good and Evil.Peter Geach - 1956 - Analysis 17 (2):33 - 42.
Logic Matters.P. T. Geach - 1972 - Foundations of Language 13 (1):127-132.
Attributive--predicative.Alfred F. MacKay - 1970 - Analysis 30 (4):113-120.
Attributive-Predicative.Alfred F. MacKay - 1970 - Analysis 30 (4):113 - 120.
Donnelly on Geach.John G. Stevenson - 1972 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 13 (3):429-430.

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